From: Somerset, U.K.
More to the point is that these pilots were practicing carrier landings and NOT practicing torpedo attacks. From what I have read so far in the book the whole "controversy" about how many torpedo-armed bombers would participate in the attack had been decided in September (even before a suitable torpedo modification for the shallow harbor had been developed). Additional bombers were not likely (IRL) because the training for ALL OF THE B5Ns other than those selected in September was solely for high level bombing (strangely that skill set was advocated by LCDR Fuchida who coincidentally specialized in that very skill; a method which was sliding into disrepute within the IJN because of its generally miserable results). The IJN did not have a large cadre of pilots skilled in torpedo attack.
From the game point of view maybe the IJN Player should get to choose how many B5Ns use torpedoes but to approximate history (at least on the first turn) the torpedo attack skill of many of those pilots should be in the 20s and 30s rather than the 70-90s.
I haven't finished reading my copy, but the above post puzzles me, for nowhere in Zimm's account have I found support for spence's proposition. In context, he must presumably be referring to torpedo attack skills amongst the aircrew of Type 97 carrier attack planes. More specifically, the issue is as to the torpedo skills of Type 97 aircrew embarked in Carrier Divisions 1 and 2, since only these divisions contributed attack planes committed to Pacific Fleet targets, as distinct from the airfield targets against which Carrier Division 5's Type 97's were committed.
What I understand Zimm to be saying is that in September 1941 the decision was taken to allot 40 Type 97's to torpedo attack and the remaining 50 Type 97's in CarDivs 1 and 2 to high level attack against battleships. It is also my understanding that the decision to commit a proportion of the Type 97 crews to high level attack stemmed from the perceived immunity from torpedo attack of each landward battleship moored as a pair alongside another vessel - in the actual attack this would turn out to be Maryland, Tennessee and Arizona.
A decision to commit 55% of CarDivs 1 and 2's Type 97 crews to high level attack tells you only that this was the split the Japanese decided to make in order to ensure that the inshore battleships were also attacked. Of itself it doesn't explain why that particular proportion was chosen, and it certainly doesn't justify a conclusion that the crews assigned to high level attack were unskilled at torpedo attack. So, if Zimm somewhere makes a case that there was a shortage of torpedo attack skills amongst Kido Butai's carrier attack plane crews, could someone please direct me to it?
In the game, you can monkey with the the composition of the Pearl Harbor strike groups, but you won't necessarily affect the outcome significantly. Recognising that in the game Kido Butai probably starts out with smaller airgroups than were actually committed to the Hawaii Operation, I set up a test in which the 3 chutai of the Yokosuka Airgroup's contingent of Model 11 Type 97's were embarked respectively in Akagi, Kaga and Hiryu. In the attack, not one of them flew.
Oh, and Zimm has strengthened my conviction that the attack by the 5 midget submarines was one of the most stupid errors the Japanese made in their plan for the operation.